Here is an easy and possibly even enjoyable way to boost your immunity: try getting some more shut-eye.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that getting less sleep can increase a persons risk of coming down with a cold.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University tracked the sleeping habits of more than 150 people aged 21 to 55, measuring their sleep quality (known as “sleep efficiency”) and how much time they spent asleep.
To test their immunity to illness, the scientists exposed participants to a rhinovirus and followed up to see who came down with a cold.
They found subjects sleeping fewer than seven hours per night were nearly three times as likely to suffer clinical cold symptoms as people getting eight hours of sleep.
Additionally, sleep quality played a role. Less efficient sleepers also had an increased risk of developing symptoms of infection, compared to their highly efficient counterparts.
“People whose sleep was disturbed were much more likely to develop colds than people who went to sleep, slept all night, and got up in the mornings,” researcher Sheldon Cohen told CNN.
Some people who suffer from insomnia or sleep disturbances may find that herbal supplements aid their slumber.